Dwight Banks, Composer/Trumpet

When Words Fail…Music Speaks

Leaving a Musical Legacy

Posted by on Sep 22, 2016

    The majority of us who try to live as positive and productive human beings go thru life developing values and goals hoping that in the end,  we leave a worthy legacy others will remember us by in a positive way. We progress thru life’s trajectory and pathway hoping that which we chose to follow is our true life’s calling and that in the end we can somehow make a contribution which will make the world a better place than it was before we emerged. When we fall short or experience significant obstacles along the way, quite often it leads to depression which can cause us to engage in behavior that can be manifested in many different forms. This commonly includes procrastinative or non productive and even self destructive behaviors in a subconscious effort to help mask our failures and obstacles, leading to self doubt and second guessing our talents and abilities.

    How does this relate to us as musicians or as “scientists of artistic sound”? The majority of us who chose to devote our lives to music hope that we can master our craft to the best of our ability and in the end leave a music legacy that can somehow be a significant contribution to the music world. In doing so,  I believe that is important to remind ourselves that music is just one part of our lives albeit a most significant one and that it’s more important to go thru life balancing all components of life proportionately. Even if we die having become highly successful as musicians it does not mean that we will leave this world happy and gratified on a personal level. There are many stories of successful music artists who also had their share of failures when the time came to depart. It’s been well documented that at his deathbed, Beethoven was deaf, a failure at human relationships, uncouth and cursing the gods with a raised fist. Charlie Parker left addicted to heroin, in poor health for a man of his age, near broke and aged well beyond his years. And we have seen the issues pop music icons such as Michael Jackson left with, not to mention how he left.

    Maybe we only have one real chance to find our destined pathway in this life as we know it and to get things right-who really knows?

    But given what we do know, it makes sense to set realistic goals, work hard, balance life proportionately and give it your best shot knowing that even the most successful will depart this life possibly having fallen short on their intended accomplishments as well.

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